Another Catholic bishop says Joe Biden should not seek the Holy Sacrament of Communion because he supports and promotes killing babies in abortions in contradiction of pro-life Biblical teachings.
Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois said this week in a new interview that people seeking communion need to reflect on their own conscience and behavior before receiving it.
“I think the first issue is for the communicant himself or herself to examine their conscience and if they are conscious of grave sin, they shouldn’t go to communion,” Paprocki told the Catholic News Agency. “I think that’s something that we’ve kind of forgotten about, and I think, for many people, that it’s just sort of automatic. Everybody gets up and goes to communion. It’s kind of expected, but there first should be that examination of conscience.”
When it comes to Biden, Bishop Paprocki made it clear to CNA that Catholics who publicly and obstinately advocate for abortion, including politicians, can and should be denied communion under canon law.
“I’m not talking about judging their soul, I’m talking about their external actions. If they’re living in a way or holding positions that are contrary to church teaching, then the Minister of Communion has to deny them the sacrament,” he said.
In the case of Biden, “The correct first step is that he should not present himself. That comes before the question of denying or admitting someone to the sacrament.”
A failure to consistently apply Canon 915 causes confusion, Paprocki said, and “gives rise to scandal, in that it leads to the impression that grave sins may not be so grave after all if there are no consequences for committing them.”
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“It is important to remember that the ultimate goal is conversion and readmission to communion, not exclusion and permanent expulsion from the community of faith. Even when a difficult decision must be made not to admit someone to Holy Communion until there has been repentance and reconciliation, such discipline does not contradict the love by which it is motivated,” Paprocki said.
Catholic Archbishop Joseph Naumann spoke out earlier this month against President Joe Biden receiving communion unless he repents of his radical pro-abortion actions.
Naumann, who chairs the U.S. Catholic bishops’ pro-life committee, told The Atlantic that Biden cannot claim to be a “devout Catholic” while supporting policies that destroy innocent unborn babies’ lives.
Biden “doesn’t believe what we believe about the sacredness of human life,” Naumann said, according to the Daily Wire. And unless he repents, he should not receive the Eucharist, the archbishop continued.
“Obviously, the president doesn’t believe what we believe about the sacredness of human life, or he wouldn’t be taking the actions that he is,” Naumann said. “And yet, he continues to receive the Eucharist. We can’t judge his heart. But we consider the action itself a grave moral evil.”
He said the president’s repeated claims to faith coupled with his anti-Catholic policies have created a difficult challenge for Catholic leaders.
“One of the issues is the extent to which he supports legalized abortion, even to the point of wanting all Americans to fund abortion,” Naumann said. “But the bigger issue, for us … is that he does these things, and then in reply to questions about them, he or his press secretary says, ‘Biden’s a devout Catholic.’ Whether he intends it or not, he’s basically saying to people, ‘You can be a good Catholic and do similar things.’”
Biden already has made abortion on demand a priority in his administration. Just two days after taking office, he celebrated the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that led to the unnecessary killing of more than 62 million unborn babies in abortions.
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Days later, Biden got rid of the Mexico City Policy and restored tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to the International Planned Parenthood Federation, which kills unborn babies in abortions around the world. Pro-life leaders warned that the money will be used to pressure countries in Africa and South America to legalize the killing of unborn babies in abortions.
Joe Biden also signed a funding bill that, for the first time in 40 years, will force taxpayers to pay for abortions both in the United States and in countries across the world.
Naumann told The Atlantic that supporting pro-abortion policies has “similar gravity” to the act of killing an unborn baby in an abortion.
“They’re obviously not identical things. But he’s formally cooperating in abortion by his actions,” the archbishop said. “He intends to make abortion available and accessible, to promote it, even help pay for it. He wants to force everybody else to do this as well, even if it violates their consciences.”
On religious freedom and the family, Biden also is taking actions that openly oppose the Catholic Church. One of his top priorities is the Equality Act, which would strip away conscience protections for pro-life medical workers and create a “right” to demand an abortion.
Biden’s choices to help lead his administration are even more radical. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, the nominee for health secretary, is fighting in court against a charity of nuns who serve the poor and elderly. He also defended a law that would have forced pro-life pregnancy centers to advertise abortions, and he is prosecuting the undercover journalists who exposed Planned Parenthood’s aborted baby body parts trade.
For these and other reasons, Biden’s presidency has caused increasing controversy in the Catholic Church. The bishops have been debating whether Biden should receive communion because he openly defies the sanctity of human life and other church teachings. Some bishops have said the president should not participate in the sacrament until he repents, while others say he should be allowed to receive the Eucharist.